United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
Bissoon District Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
PUPO LENIHAN United States Magistrate Judge.
respectfully recommended that Plaintiff's Complaint,
which was commenced in forma pauperis, be dismissed with
prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), as
Asia Johnson (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se,
filed this action against Defendant Rihanna invoking the
Court's diversity jurisdiction. Plaintiff alleges
“lost information/harassment” and states as
My email and other ideas that are copywritten [sic] was sent
to ROC Nation[.] I am an artist[.] On my birthday[, ] Rihanna
posted on social media she was up to no good and f-u other
harassing [sic] things on her fB account.
(Complaint, ECF No. 3 at 5.) Plaintiff seeks $1 million in
damages. (ECF No. 3 at 6.)
court must liberally construe the factual allegations of
Plaintiff's Complaint because pro se pleadings,
“however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007) (internal quotation omitted); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). In addition, the court
should “‘apply the applicable law, irrespective
of whether a pro se litigant has mentioned it by
name.'” Higgins v. Beyer, 293 F.3d 683,
688 (3d Cir. 2002) (quoting Holley v. Dep't of
Veterans Affairs, 165 F.3d 244, 247-48 (3d Cir. 1999)).
Court must also review Plaintiff's Complaint in
accordance with the amendments promulgated in the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat.
1321 (1996). Although Plaintiff's claims do not appear to
arise from an incarceration, the amendments to the PLRA
codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1915 apply to non-incarcerated
individuals who have been granted in forma pauperis
(“IFP”) status. See Powell v. Hoover,
956 F.Supp. 564, 566 (M.D. Pa. 1997) (holding that federal in
forma pauperis statute is not limited to prisoner suits);
Floyd v. United States Postal Serv., 105 F.3d 274,
276 (6th Cir. 1997) (holding that non-prisoners have the
option to proceed in forma pauperis), superseded on other
grounds by Callihan v. Schneider, 178 F.3d 800
(6th Cir. 1997). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a), Plaintiff is eligible for and has been granted leave
to proceed in forma pauperis. Thus, her allegations must be
reviewed in accordance with the directives provided in 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e).
to the case at bar is the authority granted to federal courts
for the sua sponte dismissal of claims in IFP proceedings.
Specifically, § 1915(e), as amended, requires the
federal courts to review complaints filed by persons who are
proceeding in forma pauperis and to dismiss, at any time, any
action that is frivolous or malicious. “[A] complaint .
. . is frivolous where it lacks an arguable basis either in
law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989); Hawkins v. Coleman Hall, C.C.F.,
453 Fed.Appx. 208, 210 (3d Cir. 2011) (“An appeal is
frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or
fact.”) (citing Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 325).
Thus, under § 1915(e)(2)(B), courts are
“authorized to dismiss a claim as frivolous where
‘it is based on an indisputable meritless legal theory
or where the factual contentions are clearly
baseless.'” O'Neal v. Remus, No.
09-14661, 2010 WL 1463011, at *1 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 17, 2010)
(quoting Price v. Heyrman, No. 06-C-632, 2007 WL
188971, at *1 (E.D. Wis. Jan. 22, 2007) (citing
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327)).